Foster

The SPCA Canterbury foster programme aims to increase the number of animals we have available for adoption. Every animal that goes into foster care is given a second chance at life. Your work as a 'foster parent' really can 'save lives'!

Do you have room in your home and your heart for orphaned or injured animals? Would you like to foster a litter of kittens, a cat recovering from surgery or a dog who needs to know what a 'home' is?

Many animals that come into the SPCA Canterbury Animal Centre need a little extra care and attention, before they can find their new forever home. We have a limited amount of space and people to care for these animals in our Centre, so we rely on our fantastic fosterers to offer temporary homes to animals in need.

Foster parents provide varying levels of care, including helping animals to;

  • Socialise and learn good behaviour
  • Gain weight
  • Rest and recover following surgery
  • Receive medication

The majority of the animals in need of foster parents are kittens, with or without their mothers. We particularly need fosterers during the kitten season, (October to May) when we have hundreds of abandoned and unwanted kittens coming into our Animal Centre. Although this is often our busiest time, we need temporary homes all year round.

To become a foster parent you need…
  1. A warm and secure separate room within your home that is not used by any other animal or person. A bathroom or laundry can be suitable. If you are caring for dogs or puppies, you will need a secure fenced property with inside areas the animal can access to sleep and interact with the family.
  2. To live within 30 minutes of the Animal Centre and to have access to your own reliable vehicle to collect and drop off your foster animal. You will also need to bring animals into our Centre for routine checks, and transport them to the vet or after hours vet, in case of emergencies.
  3. Your landlord's consent if you are living in a rental property.
  4. To ensure your own pets have current vaccinations to help safeguard against cross contamination.
  5. To abide by SPCA Canterbury’s fostering rules including not letting foster cats or kittens outside.
  6. Background knowledge of animal care and the ability to recognise normal/abnormal behaviour.
  7. Lots of love and time to ensure your animal receives the care and attention it deserves! The average length of time needed to foster an animal will vary, but it is generally between 2-4 weeks for cats/kittens and up to 3 months for dogs/puppies. Each case is different and animals are only brought back to the Centre after the foster goals are met. You can be a fosterer if you work full-time, part-time or not at all! We can match the right animal to your circumstance.
Caring for your foster animal...

We understand that looking after an animal is a big undertaking so we try to make it as easy as possible. We will supply all food, medicine, necessary equipment, toys and bedding, to help make your animal comfortable within your home. We also offer 24 hour phone assistance, to help ensure you are supported at all times.

For information or to apply…

To apply, click here to download an application form. Please return your completed form to rowena@spcacanterbury.org.nz or by post to Rowena Hughey, Volunteer and Foster Coordinator, SPCA Canterbury, PO BOX 16880 Hornby, Christchurch 8441. If you have any queries please call Rowena on: 03 344 4772.

Please note that all successful applications will be subject to a property check.

Please click here if you would like to download a copy of our Foster brochure.

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